Chapel Attendance Policy
Christian Community & Personal Growth
The purpose of a christian institution of higher learning is to stress academic excellence and further the intellectual and spiritual growth of its members. The community of Trevecca Nazarene University places special emphasis on the development of the christian life. Everyone is urged to take advantage of the many opportunities for spiritual nurture and christian service. Teachers are encouraged to open classes with prayer and/or devotions.
Trevecca is particularly committed to providing opportunities for all members of the University campus in which God's transforming grace is present and active. Such opportunities include prayer, scripture reading, accountability groups, ministry and service groups, and public worship.
In a christian university setting, chapel represents the heart of religious faith as expressed in worship and love of God and learning. Therefore, chapel at Trevecca is considered to be on the same level of importance as academic classes, and both have required attendance.
Note the following statements taken from two eminent experts on the christian college experience:
"The college chapel service… that renews the vision of God and studies and keeps things in focus is essential in cultivating a climate of faith and learning. Chapel is the college community at worship, cultivating christian devotion, dedicating all its activities to the glory of God, seeking biblical instruction that will guide its life and thought, and reflecting on its God-given calling" (Arthur F. Holmes, The Idea of a Christian College).
"The chapel has been the chief college religious symbol and the focal point of all meaning… I think the way of wisdom is to… make the chapel central… Above all, we must make the chapel good, and we must be willing to spend the time, effort, and money to achieve this end" (D. Elton Trueblood, The Idea of a Christian College).
Chapel programs at Trevecca Nazarene University provide a time for community building on and off campus, spiritual enrichment, evangelism, and a specific time for students, faculty, and administration to worship together.
Personal behavior and attire in chapel should be consistent with all due respect and reverence (refer to "Dress and Behavioral Standards" in this section). Students are not to wear earphones, text message, study, read magazines and papers, write letters or notes, etc. during chapel worship. Cell phones should be turned off when coming into chapel. Students are not to bring babies or small children into chapel; in cases of emergencies, exceptions may be made by the student development personnel.
Chapel attendance is required of all students in accordance with the following guidelines. In order to meet the diverse schedules and journeys of the campus community, students have 48 - 50 opportunities for chapel credit each semester (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m.; Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m.; and five Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. ). Other opportunities such as Friday Homecoming Chapel, Guided Prayer Walk, and two evening Spiritual Renewal services are also provided. A schedule of all chapels is provided at the beginning of each semester.
Because chapel is considered part of the Trevecca curriculum, each student is required to attend a minimum of 24 chapels during the semester. Schedules, including work, must be planned around class and chapel attendance. No distinction is made between excused and unexcused absences (e.g., sickness, on-campus meetings, work, field trips, personal emergencies, or athletic events); in order to receive 2010-11 chapel credit a student must attend a chapel.
Each student should keep track of her/his attendance record via IQ Web (ICE page). Persons who fail to meet the 24 chapel requirement during a semester will be assessed fines (see Student Handbook) and may have further disciplinary action, including disenrollment.
Chapel Attendance Guidelines
- 1 - 5 credit hours - Attendance not required
- 6 - 11 credit hours - Required a total of 12 times during the semester
- 12 or more credit hours - Required a total of 24 times during the semester
- If you think, on the basis of extreme circumstances, that you should be excused from chapel attendance more than the guidelines allow, it is your responsibility to submit a request form for chapel exemption each semester to the Office of Student Development.
Chapel Exemption Guidelines
Chapel exemption requests will generally be considered for students in the following situations only:
- Student teaching and certain senior level internships.
- Commuting students - If your only class meets at 7:30 a.m. or after 12:00 noon on Tuesday or Thursday, you may qualify for a partial exemption.
As all members of the campus community understand the significance and centrality of the chapel program and demonstrate a positive attitude toward our times of worship together, disciplinary actions will not become necessary. Persons who do not fulfill chapel attendance expectations should be aware that the Office of Student Development will respond according to the following guidelines:
Once you exceed the number of allowed absences, fines will be assessed as follows:
- 1st absence - $10
- 2nd absence - $15
- 3rd absence - $20
- Additional absences - additional $10 each
- Excessive absences may result in further disciplinary action, including dismissal from the University.
In addition to the chapel services, you are encouraged to use the residence hall chapel rooms for private prayer and meditation. These rooms are designated specifically for prayer and meditation and should be used accordingly. The campus prayer chapel in the McClurkan Building has been set up as a prayer room with diverse prayer experiences. Locations for large group prayer meetings can be arranged through the Office of Student Development and coordinated by the University chaplain and/or campus ministries.
Students on each residence hall floor/apartment are encouraged to participate in a spiritual formation group on a regular basis. The resident assistant on each floor/breezeway is responsible for initiating this group and either leading it themselves or asking an interested resident to lead it. The University encourages as many students as possible to be involved in this way. This worship and sharing contributes to the growth of the christian community and of the individual. These groups can take a variety of forms, including a book study, accountability group, prayer group, or service project group.
During the week, a variety of ministry and service opportunities are provided through campus ministries. All students are invited and encouraged to become an active part of a campus ministry. In addition, students are encouraged to participate in summer ministries through TAG (Trevecca Around the Globe) and YIM (Youth in Mission). In the spring, students are encouraged to participate in a spiritual foundation retreat.
Students are encouraged to maintain a strong spiritual life through personal devotions and active participation in chapel, in campus religious activities, in outreach and/or compassionate ministries, and through involvement in a Nashville area church.